This past weekend was the 2nd edition of the New York Anime Festival over at the Javits Center, run by Reed Exhibitions (the same people who do New York Comic Con and Book Expo America). It went pretty well, despite being (by many accounts) pretty dead on Friday, and lacking in industry participation (no Viz panel, for example). There were some good panels, including something a little different from the usual con fare on Saturday:
Shounen? Shoujo? Both are getting pretty stale. What’s the genre du jour Cooking Manga. That’s right, Cooking Manga. Grab yourself a plate as some of the genre’s leading experts and authors dish about this delicious new entry onto the manga menu. Featuring a guest from Japanese-French dessert café Luxee! Includes a raffle for Kitchen Princess 1 and 2 from Del Rey Manga!
The panelists were one of the chefs from Luxee (I forgot to write down her name), and Abby Denson of City Sweet Tooth.
City Sweet Tooth is a column that appears every other week in L Magazine, which is a digest-sized weekly magazine you can usually pick up for free in local bookstores and restaurants. She reviews the many bakeries and cafes that appeal to sugar-loving New Yorkers, using bright illustrations and short passages to get right to the heart of each location.
As for the Japanese side of things, the panelists discussed several manga, with Abby doing most of the talking. She admitted that they were limited to what the companies gave them information on, and what had been released in the United States. Titles discussed (with US publisher):
- Yakitate Japan! (Viz)
- Oishinbo (Viz)
- Antique Bakery (Digital Manga Publishing)
- Kitchen Princess (Del Rey)
- Mixed Vegetables (Del Rey)
- Iron Wok Jan (DrMaster)
So even though Viz had no official presence at the con, their presence was certainly felt here. One, for giving out freebies, but also for being the publishers of the upcoming English release of Oishinbo
, considered the granddaddy of cooking manga. It has been published since 1983, comprises over 100 volumes, and had an anime aired from 1989-1993. It follows the story of a food critic and features recipes and tips on cooking. Despite an ongoing storyline, the American release is going to be grouped by foods instead, so it will appeal to foodies and hopefully forestall the releases being canceled before the good installments get their chance to be published. Over at Amazon you can pre-order Volume 1
, and Ramen/Gyoza
, but none of them are due until 2009, with volume 1 set for publication January 13.